The Sabres’ Jack Eichel saga just got even messier.

Buffalo stripped Eichel of the team’s captaincy after he failed his training-camp physical, and the star center will begin the 2021-22 NHL season on injured reserve as the two sides continue to disagree on how to treat the 24-year-old center’s injured neck.

“From our perspective, the captain is your heartbeat of your team, and we are in a situation where we felt we needed to make that decision,” Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams told reporters Thursday morning.

Eichel, who has not played since March 7, wants his herniated disk replaced with an artificial one, while the Sabres want him to have fusion surgery. Adams said Tuesday Eichel is “not willing” to move forward with the Sabres’ surgery preference.

Jach Eichel is no longer the captain of the Buffalo Sabres.
Getty Images

The No. 2 pick from the 2015 NHL draft has been the subject of trade rumors all summer. The Post’s Larry Brooks reported in June that the Rangers had showed increased interest at the time in looking into Eichel’s medical condition, and had preliminary discussions with Buffalo about Eichel’s availability. Though, it was unclear how serious Rangers GM Chris Drury was about acquiring Eichel.

Given the tension between the Sabres — expected to be basement dwellers once again this season — and Eichel, combined with Eichel’s uncertain health status and his hefty $10 million annual cap hit through 2025-26, interested parties have just as much leverage as Buffalo in trade talks.

Jack Eichel Sabres NHL
Sabres GM Kevyn Adams
NHLI via Getty Images

Adams was asked if it’s impossible to trade Eichel before he has any type of surgery.

“If there was a solution over the course of the summer, and that was an opportunity we thought it made sense, we would have done it,” Adams said. “Obviously that’s not the case.”

Eichel had 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) in 21 games during the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season. He has 355 points in 375 career NHL games.


By James Carter

A Senior writer & Editor, James is a postgraduate in biotechnology and has an immense interest in following news developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. He is responsible for handling the office staff writers and providing them with the latest updates happenings in the world. He writes for almost all sections of Editorials 24.